Oliver Stone is assembling Savages, which adapts the book of the same name by Don Winslow and has Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch set to star as best friends and pot growers who get roped into working for a drug cartel when the bad guys kidnap their friend/girlfriend.

Salma Hayek is a possible pick to be the matriarch of the drug cartel, and Benicio Del Toro is now signing on to play the cartel’s enforcer, who sets the kidnapping, and therefore the plot, in motion. Some script work is being done now by Oliver Stone, Don Winslow and Shane Salerno, and there are ongoing discussions with a couple of studios to pick up the project — Universal seems like the likely home right now. [Deadline]

After the break, new gigs for Emma Robers, Kenan Thompson and the new Jason Voorhees, Derek Mears. Read More »

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The cast for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, to be directed by Dead Snow helmer Tommy Wirkola, is looking pretty damn good. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the title roles, while Famke Janssen is their spell-casting adversary. Now the film has added Peter Stormare, who can be so much fun as a scene-chewing villain, to the bad guy roster. Read More »

Briefly: Paramount has got Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters just about packaged and ready to shoot, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in the lead roles as grown-up Hansel and Gretel, who have dealt with their childhood trauma at the hand of a witch by hunting other witches. (Cheaper than therapy, and probably more fun.) Famke Janssen plays the leader of the witches being hunted by our heroes. Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) directs.

Now the film has a March 2, 2012 release date, and we know that MGM will co-finance the film. Which is weird, given that MGM has been looking to other studios to co-finance its own films. Chalk it up to bridge-building. Spyglass Entertainment is now running MGM, and the heads of that company have a long-standing friendship with Paramount, so it mostly makes sense. Oh, and in Deadline‘s report about the release date the film is called Hansel & Gretel 3D. Contacted for clarification, Paramount reps say that, yes, the film is in 3D (we knew that) but it is still called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Minor news on the Snow White battle front today. We’ve talked twice about Julia Roberts possibly joining the cast of Relativity’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, to be directed by Tarsem Singh. First time was when she was rumored, then when it looked like she would take the plunge. Now we’ve got confirmation that Tarsem’s evil queen will be Julia Roberts.

No word on further casting for the film at this point, but with one of the most famous actresses in the world as the evil queen, one imagines the rest of the cast won’t take long to fall into place. This also puts the Snow White battle into a more pitched mode — neither Relativity or Universal (which has Snow White and the Huntsman set to shoot) seem willing to back down. Are we really going to end up with two big Snow White revamps? [Deadline]

After the break, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters also gets a female villain. Read More »

It seems like only minutes ago when we were talking about Eva Green and Naomi Watts being cast in The Dark Knight Rises. Oh, wait, it was. Hot on the heels of Collider’s initial report, The Hollywood Reporter has come to the plate with their own short list of actresses vying for the two female leads in Christopher Nolan‘s third Batman film and neither Green or Watts are on the list. Their list includes Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway (who have both already been mentioned) Jessica Biel, Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley and Gemma Arterton. Reportedly, each one of these actresses has a scheduled test for the film in the next two weeks. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Will 2011 be a year of cinematic fairy tale revamps? There are dueling Snow White films in the works, and now Paramount has taken the next step to move forward with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Jeremy Renner was said to be circling the role of the adult Hansel, which is now apparently a locked piece of casting, and now Paramount has cast Gemma Arterton as his sister Gretel. Read More »

Michael Mann may run behind Guillermo Del Toro in the race for ‘most possible projects’ but at this point I think he’s neck and neck with Lee Daniels for second place. The filmmaker has a number of potential new films in the works in addition to his HBO show Luck: Agincourt, which takes place at the famous battle of the same name, Chicago mobster movie Big Tuna, and, possibly, a new film version of For Whom the Bell Tolls.

And then there’s Capa, based on the life of war photographer Robert Capa, in particular the short romance he shared with Gerda Taro, also a photographer. Now it seems like Gemma Arterton is set for the latter role, with Andrew Garfield a possible actor to play Mr. Capa. Read More »

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Filming is almost underway for Men in Black 3, the 3D sequel that will reunite Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld, but for those that still aren’t on board, here’s some last-minute casting to help get you in the mood.

The deals aren’t finalized yet, but Sharlto Copley, Alec Baldwin and Gemma Arterton are all negotiating roles for the film, which finds Will Smith traveling back in time and teaming up with Josh Brolin as a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones’ character K. Learn more about these actors’ potential roles in the film after the break. Read More »

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